ACCOUNTING is the practice of recording, reporting and auditing the financial activities of a business using a system of measuring and analysing the results of a business activity.
Accountants also prepare statements regarding the assets, liabilities and business outcomes of a company or individual. Professional accountants usually work in accounting firms and provide auditing, consultation and tax services.
In Malaysia, the accountancy profession is regulated by the Malaysian Institute of Accountants (MIA).
MIA is responsible for developing well-trained accountants through education and training.
In order for accountants to be certified, they will need to apply for a membership with MIA as it is the only official and authorised accounting body in Malaysia.
Types of accounting
There are a few types of accounting you can choose to practise, but here are the four most common types:
Public accounting – Public accountants are not engaged with a particular firm. Their clients can be individuals, private companies and businesses, governmental agencies, public firms or nongovernmental organisations.
Public accounting, also called assurance services, is a diverse type of accounting because its practitioners must be able to provide several different services to their clients to meet their various needs, including financial analysis, tax preparation, financial reporting and consultation.
Management accounting – Management accountants or corporate accountants work for agencies and corporations. Their job is to carry out financial analysis and take records of the company’s financial data.
Management accountants provide budgeting reports to a company before the release of a new product. This is crucial for any company to prevent overspending.
They also have to prepare the financial data of the company for investors and tax authorities. These financial data usually consist of the company’s assets, liabilities, income, equity and expenses.
The financial data of a company is used to analyse the company’s business performance and it helps determine whether the company’s business strategies should be kept or changed.
Governmental accounting – Governmental accounting is a form of public accounting, but accountants in this line only work for governmental agencies, sectors and businesses and must be able to provide different types of services.
Governmental accountants maintain and keep financial records of governmental agencies. They also provide budgeting and costs analysis services to the government.
Internal auditing – The job of an internal auditing accountant is to inspect a company’s financial management practices and ensure that there are no flaws in the practices or fraud and waste in funds.
They ensure that a company abides by the law in managing and recording its finances.
Internal auditors play a key role in improving the management of an organisation by giving opinions and recommendations based on the data gathered from financial analysis and business auditing.